Prof. Ryan poses with his Moffat trophy and 45 rpm record of PM Pierre.

Prof. Ryan poses with his Moffat trophy and 45 rpm record of PM Pierre.

Like many Canadians, Justin Trudeau’s 2015 federal election victory has left Dr. Allan J. Ryan feeling a sense of déjà vu.

Justin Trudeau’s successful campaign brought the Professor in the School of Canadian Studies and Department of Art History right back to 1968, when Justin’s father Pierre, replaced Lester B. Pearson (who had recently stepped down) as the next Prime Minister of Canada.

At the time, Pierre Trudeau was viewed as an enlightened and engaging politician. It was this charisma that swept the nation in what will now — thanks to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s recent triumph — be referred to as the first incarnation of “Trudeaumania.”

In the late 60’s, Prof. Ryan was making a living as a folk singer/songwriter performing in Montreal and Toronto.

Recognizing the fervency of the original Trudeaumania, Ryan was inspired to write a song in tribute to the cultural sensation titled PM Pierre. In hindsight, and all these years later, the opening lines of the ode Ryan penned back in 1968 could quite easily be applied to Justin Trudeau’s 2015 campaign and subsequent mandate as the new Prime Minister of Canada.

PM Pierre (Official Capitol Records recording)

PM Pierre (Live Performance by Prof. Allan J. Ryan at the University of Waterloo, 1971)

PM Pierre (Allan J. Ryan live on CBC’s Russ Thompson Show)

PM Pierre (Lyrics) Words and music by Allan J. Ryan

There’s a new infatuation that’s been sweepin’ the nation
Shakin’ the roots in the ground
Of an old generation, a new inspiration
Takin’ a new look around
But he’s quickly disarming and utterly charming
Quite enough to make you let down your hair
In a Society Just, a society must
Check out PM Pierre

PM Pierre, with the ladies, racin’ a Mercedes
Pierre, in the money, find him with a bunny
Pierre, a little brighter than the northern lights
He oughta add a lotta colour to the Ottawa nights
Charismatic and dynamic with a trans-Atlantic flare
Regardez PM Pierre

In the new administration there’s an open situation
For a slightly more exciting regime
For a bachelor pad doesn’t seem half that bad
For making the Parliament scene
But can a party attender become party mender
And clear all the dust from the air
In a Society Just a society must
Check out PM Pierre

PM Pierre, diplomatic in the press when he says
You can quote him in English or en français
Pierre, very stubborn with an iron will
Sock it to me Trudy from Parliament Hill
Punchin’ Judy’s kinda moody like a big mama bear…

Because according to Miss LaMarsh there’s room in the capitol city for only one eligible swinger, and unfortunately for her this seems destined to be…PM Pierre

PM Pierre, in the Commons with a new pair of sandals
Well, its better than a new pair of scandals
Pierre, everybody sittin’ wonderin’ whether
He’ll show up any day in a suit of Spanish leather
If the adoration adulation of the Trudeau generation
Fills your lovin’ heart with despair
In a Society Just a society must
Check out PM Pierre, Pierre
Check out PM Pierre, Pierre
Check out PM, hey! Sock it to me Trudy from Parliament Hill!

As heard, Ryan’s song captures many of the parallel themes of Trudeaumania and Trudeaumania 2.0 – the youthful charm, affluence and a promise of inclusive and more optimistic politics.

Ryan featured in The Telegram for PM Pierre. (Click on image for higher resolution version of news article)

Ryan featured in The Telegram for PM Pierre. (Click on image for higher resolution version of news article)

Ryan first performed PM Pierre on the Montreal television show, Seven on Six, co-hosted by the well-known journalists, Laurier LaPierre and Peter Desberats. He also sang the song (twice) on CBC Radio’s live noon hour program, The Russ Thompson Show. Soon after, Ryan recorded the song on Capitol Records, with the help of the renowned artists and repertoire man, Paul White. PM Pierre would go on to win the Lloyd E. Moffat Memorial Award for “Best Originality and Creativity” in Canadian recording, 1968.

Forty-seven years later, PM Pierre maintains an astonishing amount of cultural relevancy.

Ryan said, “It is heartening to see the promise and optimism of PM Pierre embodied by Justin Trudeau and embraced by a new generation. It gives me hope. At its core, the song is about personal and collective possibilities.”

Sock it to me, Prof. Ryan from Carleton U!

Sunday, November 15, 2015 in
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